Responding to Plagiarism

Recommended responses to plagiarism in a text


The ELI believes that appropriate responses by faculty and administrators who find incidences of plagiarism are:

  • to make sure the student is aware that their text includes plagiarism, where those incidences are, and that plagiarism in a final product is not acceptable; and
  • to offer to help the student to learn (and then, to the extent time allows, work with them to help them get a few steps further along in understanding the intricacies of academic discourse and developing their own voices as academic writers)
  • to document (with dates) any steps taken. Save email messages, and make notes about anything that was discussed orally.
  • ELI instructors: inform the ELI Director of any cases of plagiarized work (initially when you first notice it, and again later, with documentation if necessary, showing how it was resolved). Student files will be updated, so that if future cases occur, additional appropriate help can be provided to the student.

In addition to these recommended responses, we also have a set of tips for instructors, including ideas for making “plagiarism-proof” assignments and ideas for working with students effectively yet efficiently.

Appropriate responses from students whose work is found to have plagiarism are:

  • to seek out the help of someone with expertise.
  • to make an effort to learn from the experience, improving upon their understanding of scholarly work and their abilities as academic writers.
  • Read and follow our page with tips for students.



Next: Tips for Students